In a bizarre stunt for Red Bull energy drink, a man in a paraglider buzzed around busy Buenos Aires streets during rush hour yesterday. Hernan Pitocco, 31, circled the city's main avenue, 9 de Julio, and other hot spots such as the Colon Theater before landing in Puerto Madero, a trendy waterfront urban neighborhood, where a handful of astounded journalists and policemen awaited him.
The cops took Mr. Pitocco in even though he had been hired by Red Bull to carry out the stunt to dramatize the brand's slogan "Red Bull gives you wings." He had been coached by Red Bull to explain his behavior by saying "I was trapped in a traffic jam in the city, and I got tired of it so I grabbed my paraglider out of my car and took off to get to my meeting on time." Apart from his Red Bull-branded paraglider and his Red Bull helmet, he actually was dressed like a businessman heading for a meeting in a suit and tie.
Later in the day, Mr. Pitocco told local newspaper La Nación that Red Bull was shooting his flight from a helicopter with five cameras in order to make a short film in which he portrays a businessman escaping from traffic. Apparently, Red Bull had asked the authorities for permission to fly the helicopter, but hadn't described the stunt -- or mentioned there would also be a person paragliding in the sky.
Mr. Pittoco is being charged with the felony offense of "violating the aerial space." And Red Bull? The energy drink maker's story is all over Argentina's media today.